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Aisne borders the Ardennes Forest and Belgium to the northeast. The Aisne River crosses the area from east to west, where it joins the Oise River. The landscape is dominated by masses of rock which often have steep flanks. These rocks appear all over the region, but the most impressive examples are at Laon and the Chemin des Dames ridge.
The principal cities in Aisne are
- Laon, pop. 26,000 (capital)
- Saint-Quentin, pop. 60,000
- Soissons, pop. 30,000
- Tergnier , pop. 15,000
See also: List of the communes of the Aisne département.
There is an average of 500 to 750 mm precipitation annually.
Agriculture dominates the economy, especially cereal crops. Beet sugar is one of the most important industrial crops of the area. Silk, cotton, and wool weaving flourish in Saint-Quentin and other towns. Saint-Gobain is known for its production of mirrors, which started in the 17th century. Guise is the agricultural centre of the northern area of Aisne.
During World War I a number of significant architectural monuments were destroyed. Of the buildings that survived, the medieval churches in Laon, Braine , and Urcel are the most significant. The ruined castle of La Ferté-Milon escaped further damage during the war.
- Prefecture website (in French)
- Conseil Général website (in French)
- http://www.sudaisne.com/Departement/aisne.html (in French)
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